2017 marks another year of changes and updates to the Facebook platform. To no one's surprise, many of those updates were a direct response to both the fake news epidemic and intrusive ads that invaded the News Feed.
Throughout this cleanup process, many publishers who unintentionally violated new guidelines watched their Facebook reach decline. And without a strategy that's adaptive to Facebook's constant algorithm updates, publishers have been scrambling for answers and new ways to keep eyeballs on their content.
We can't really complain that good ol' quality content and an enhanced user experience is again at the forefront of all these efforts. Facebook has since even released News Feed Publisher Guidelines in an effort to bring back quality content that users truly value from publishers.
So if you've got the quality content part down, but still can't figure out how to increase your Facebook reach, there are a number of ways to make sure you're winning on both fronts.
Long-form content that is worth scrolling for is gold. We're not talking about long-form pieces that are filled with junk, but rather actual quality content that takes time and effort to produce. This is where you can not only get higher CPMs, but also higher engagement and sharing from your audiences. Long-form, detailed content gets shared more than its short-form alternative, and also ranks higher in Google. It's really a win-win.
Go “All in” on Instant Articles
Going "all in" on Instant Articles means every post has to be published as an Instant Article at least once. We can't stress this enough. It's become a must to winning the Facebook reach game. Not only will converting all your articles to Instant Articles grow your overall reach, but it will grow your website's total traffic too due to the leakage from desktop and mobile web.
Publishers that don't benefit from Instant Articles are simply not doing it right. We have a specific formula to optimize Instant Articles for maximum engagement and revenue.
It's a battle-tested, data-backed formula that's working for all of our clients: video + engaging, intelligently designed copy = $$$ on Instant Articles. And if you stick to it, you'll start to monetize Instant Articles with higher CPMs every day.
Your ad units should be configured so that they display evenly throughout your content, and everything should be perfectly optimized for social. Your website must also be paired alongside these efforts in order to create a fast and social experience because Facebook will kill reach to slow and poorly designed websites. Without these pieces in place, no real Instant Articles traffic can be built.
It’s Not All About Video
We were also onboard the rising video trend and preached its powers, but those powers are shifting. Video on Facebook has grown more complicated. Publishing properties that were purely social video peaked months ago. Those properties were filling a hole in content on Facebook, but they created very little loyalty and brand recognition — and that's super dangerous. Some publishers even experienced as much as a 60% drop in their traffic.
The good news is that writers are very much important again. The Facebook algorithm appreciates quality, thoughtful content. And it's not just writers, but true content curators who can build engaging pieces of content that bring in reach and revenue. Companies who laid off their editorial departments are now stuck because their pivot to video has been overdone. You absolutely need video, but you also need the mix of content that creates deep engagement and repeat loyalty to win on Facebook.
RebelMouse Can Help
Our technology is designed to keep up with the speed of the tech giants. We're obsessed with traffic + how things go viral, and it's allowed our clients to continue to see their Facebook reach increase. With the right mix of technology and strategy, we've mastered a content distribution formula that truly works.Our CMS is designed to be your roadmap in the ever-changing media world, and encompasses everything from Instant Articles configuration + strategy to website launch. Not only will we help set up your Instant Articles, but we'll help you create a monetization and audience strategy that brings in real loyal, sticky audiences.